A jet-setting Sunderland businesswoman has been given the royal seal of approval for her efforts to boost foreign trade.
Thirty-four-year-old Kate Wickham has been awarded an MBE for Services to Export and Outward Investment for her work with family firm Gate 7.
The Gateshead firm supplies specialist print services to the automotive, construction, and agricultural industries.
Kate’s family of two brothers, two sisters and parents Audrey and Keith were able to attend the investiture and see Princess Anne honour Kate for her work to promote international trade.
“I hope this will help to further put the North East on the map and go a long way to help grow the blue chip client base for our company Gate 7,” said Kate.
“It has been very special to share this experience with my family and we hope to continue to develop international markets.
It has been very special to share this experience with my family and we hope to continue to develop international markets.
“It was an incredible day at Buckingham Palace, with all the tradition and glamour you would expect”.
Keith, who is also from Sunderland, was delighted to be invited to the Palace to see his daughter honoured for her efforts.
“It takes a lot of guts to travel the world and Kate is a resolute and courageous traveller making business trips alone to each corner of Europe, India and America,” he said.
“I am so proud that Kate has been awarded the MBE. This will help with Kate’s vision for the growth and expansion at Gate 7, through manufacturing sites in the UK and America.”
Keith set up the company in 2000, and named it in honour of his favourite sport - white water canoeing.
The company was named after the gates in the canoe slalom that have to be negotiated through a series of rapids and the point which is traditionally held to the be most critical point on a course - the seventh gate.
“It’s when the tough get going and the weaker competitors start to tire,” said Keith.